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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,
I am hoping to reach out to the public for some further help. I have searched just about every forum and cant quite find anything that matches. I have a red doberman that is 3 years of age, male. We had him when he was 4 weeks old. It wasnt till around maybe 1 year, that we started to notice he had some blotching on his back. We presumed maybe it was something in his diet (allergy related), so we switched foods to half raw half dry with supplements. But this balding back hair has very slowly continued without resolve. I have tried just about every remedy imaginable. And I am now seeing more balding spots occur up his back. Other than these spots, the rest of his skin/coat is very nice.
He shows no signs of lethargy, irritability, losing/gaining weight, or hot spots (licking). He acts almost the same way as he did when he was young.
I have considered possibly getting a test done to check his thyroid function, but nothing other than his spots indicate that something could be wrong. The test is about $200.
I am wondering if anyone out there has had this problem? has suggestions?

I will post some pictures as well.
136633

136634
 

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I'd start with thyroid. It's part of a full "senior" blood panel. Bloodwork is good for baseline numbers anyway, so start there.
 

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Food allergies are actually pretty uncommon in dogs.

Even though he's young, low thyroid can actually show up in Dobermans at a young age, unfortunately. Sometimes the only symptom is hair loss, and often the hair loss is symmetrical. To me, it would be worth running a full thyroid panel. I'd ask for a blood draw and have it sent out (it can't be processed in house at a vet's office - it's often sent out to somewhere like MSU).

If that is normal, and your vet doesn't have ideas, I'd seek out a dermatologist.
 
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Food allergies are actually pretty uncommon in dogs.

Even though he's young, low thyroid can actually show up in Dobermans at a young age, unfortunately. Sometimes the only symptom is hair loss, and often the hair loss is symmetrical. To me, it would be worth running a full thyroid panel. I'd ask for a blood draw and have it sent out (it can't be processed in house at a vet's office - it's often sent out to somewhere like MSU).

If that is normal, and your vet doesn't have ideas, I'd seek out a dermatologist.
Thank you very much, I’ll get him booked in for testing
 

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The vet we go to offered to do a T4 and thyroid test, but said they wouldn’t be able to tell without doing some bloodwork
Make sure if you go that route that you ask for a full thyroid panel, not just the T4. The full panel needs to be sent out to an outside lab.
 

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I'd definitely get a full thyroid panel and not just a T4. I will say that some dogs get seasonal bald spots that is not thyroid related.
 

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There are not many places that do a full thyroid panel. MSU (Michigan State does and Texas A & M does--you can look up who does the real 6 part thyroid panel. T4 alone doesn't tell the whole story but that hair loss looks suspiciously thyroid related. The big thing is that there are a whole array of symptoms of low thyroid and some dogs have lots of symptoms and some dogs don't. Look at the back of your dogs ears too--that's a spot that nearly always has hair loss if it's thyroid related--you are more likely to notice with a dog who is cropped but check that. But the hair loss tends to be bilateral symmetrical--you may or may not have a dog with weight gain ( with no reduction in exercise and no change in the amount of food) but along with the hair loss down the back there is often hair loss on the inside of the upper back legs and at the throat, down the neck at the chest and between the front legs.

While food allergies are generally rare contact allergies aren't--those can be inhaillent allergies or true contact--shows up as foot and leg irritation--often grass related.

Good luck tracking it down. Allergy related coat loss is the pits--so hard to pin it down.

I just took a look to see if I could find the list of places that did a full thyroid panel--you might want to look at the Michigan States page on thyroid tests. They have a nice comprehensive write up (I hadn't looked at this in quite a while) on canine thyroid and the tests and what they mean and which part is useful to tell exactly what it going one.

Cornell is also now doing full panels and Texas A & M. I believe there are a couple more but MSU is really the gold standard.

dobebug
 

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There are not many places that do a full thyroid panel. MSU (Michigan State does and Texas A & M does--you can look up who does the real 6 part thyroid panel. T4 alone doesn't tell the whole story but that hair loss looks suspiciously thyroid related. The big thing is that there are a whole array of symptoms of low thyroid and some dogs have lots of symptoms and some dogs don't. Look at the back of your dogs ears too--that's a spot that nearly always has hair loss if it's thyroid related--you are more likely to notice with a dog who is cropped but check that. But the hair loss tends to be bilateral symmetrical--you may or may not have a dog with weight gain ( with no reduction in exercise and no change in the amount of food) but along with the hair loss down the back there is often hair loss on the inside of the upper back legs and at the throat, down the neck at the chest and between the front legs.

While food allergies are generally rare contact allergies aren't--those can be inhaillent allergies or true contact--shows up as foot and leg irritation--often grass related.

Good luck tracking it down. Allergy related coat loss is the pits--so hard to pin it down.

I just took a look to see if I could find the list of places that did a full thyroid panel--you might want to look at the Michigan States page on thyroid tests. They have a nice comprehensive write up (I hadn't looked at this in quite a while) on canine thyroid and the tests and what they mean and which part is useful to tell exactly what it going one.

Cornell is also now doing full panels and Texas A & M. I believe there are a couple more but MSU is really the gold standard.

dobebug
Thank you for the advice, luckily our vet was able to get a full bloodwork analysis done overnight. He has come back with hypothyroidism and is going on medication today!
 

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That's great news (really)—I mean, if he is going to have skin problems, hypothyroid is a good cause to find. It is probably the easiest and cheapest problem to fix. He'll be on meds for the rest of his life, but it's not a terribly expensive one.

In general, you can get meds from your vet (usually the most expensive—they have more overhead to factor in), online pharmacies (I used to use Valley Vet when my dogs needed heart meds), or even at a local pharmacy, if it is the same formulation as a human med, available in a dose you can work with to get your dog's dose. I think some pharmacies are even stocking a few pet meds these days—don't quote me on that, though. If you're using a local pharmacy, you can use the discount cards from online or via the pharmacy's medication program.

So there are lots of different ways to get meds and you can look around for your cheapest option. You'll just need a prescription from your vet to go somewhere else. Sometimes the place you're getting the med from will even do the legwork of connecting with your vet—all you have to give them is that info.

I think what I usually did was stay with getting drugs from the vet until we got medications and dosages stabilized and then go to my best option. It's not just price you figure in—especially with online stuff, you have to look for a reputable site.
 

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Thank you for the advice, luckily our vet was able to get a full bloodwork analysis done overnight. He has come back with hypothyroidism and is going on medication today!
Can you please update with what dosage you guys land on for him? Im curious because my boy has hypothyroidism too and wanted to see if they are on similar dosages. What did your vet start him on? .6?


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Can you please update with what dosage you guys land on for him? Im curious because my boy has hypothyroidism too and wanted to see if they are on similar dosages. What did your vet start him on? .6?


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Depends on the size of the dog and how far out of range his thyroid panel results were. Generally most males end up starting with .8mg and most bitches with .6mg. They usually want them on the preliminary dose for 4 to 6 weeks before they do the blood work to see what T4 is then.

Costco, if they are anywhere near you has a pet med program that has been in effect for many years now--their pricing has always been good and for most things they could always beat even the prices I got as a clinic employee.

dobebug
 
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